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Here's a little more about the WGA strike:
I managed to get down to a picket line earlier this week. There I spoke with one of the writers from Heroes for a while, among some others. I will go again soon. Meanwhile, I've received a fair share of mail asking about the strike and I want to say that I'm hardly the best source of information given that this strike is a writer's strike and therefore the guild members involved are of course able to express themselves and the issues wonderfully, and there are many veterans of the WGA who have websites where they explore the politics of the negotiations. You can thus get information direct from the WGA leadership and the writers who write your favorite stories. I'll try to keep up with posting the most useful links in terms of understanding what's actually going on versus, “[whatever celebrity] visited the picket line today.”
The idea that shows like The Daily Show going black can and will affect the next presidential election is poignant, so if you see an article or news story on the matter, then give it a read or a listen, and a think.
Visit the WGAw and the WGAe for details on how to join a picket line.
Update; to answer a question:
You're probably hearing mentionings of IATSE, SAG, DGA and the Teamsters. Here you go:
Wikipedia Union Listings
These are the people, (drivers, property masters, actors, assistant directors...) who make films. It is not possible to make a film without any part of this creative team.
From work stoppage to negotiating their own new media residuals, the WGA strike affects all of the members of these guilds.
Speaking of your favorite writers, I finally found something from RDM on the strike:
"I had a situation last year on Battlestar Galactica where we were asked by Universal to do webisodes [Note: Moore is referring to The Resistance webisodes which ran before Season 3 premiered], which at that point were very new and 'Oooh, webisodes! What does that mean?' It was all very new stuff. And it was very eye opening, because the studio's position was 'Oh, we're not going to pay anybody to do this. You have to do this, because you work on the show. And we're not going to pay you to write it. We're not going to pay the director, and we're not going to pay the actors.' At which point we said 'No thanks, we won't do it.'"
And from our other stranger-friend in Sci-Fi, Joss Whedon:
The trappings of a union protest…” You see how that works? Since we aren’t real workers, this isn’t a real union issue. (We’re just a guild!) And that’s where all my ‘what is a writer’ rambling becomes important. Because this IS a union issue, one that will affect not just artists but every member of a community that could find itself at the mercy of a machine that absolutely and unhesitatingly would dismantle every union, remove every benefit, turn every worker into a cowed wage-slave in the singular pursuit of profit. (There is a machine. Its program is ‘profit’. This is not a myth.) This is about a fair wage for our work. No different than any other union. The teamsters have recognized the importance of this strike, for which I’m deeply grateful. Hopefully the Times will too.
As a sidenote related to a standard JSDC topic: Whedon also talks story philosophy in that entry.
RDM, Whedon... someone find me JJ Abrams and the triad will be complete. (I'm pretty sure there's some sort of prophecy that details what will happen when they join forces.)
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